posted on Sep, 20 2012 @ 02:34 AM
The french laws on the liberté d'expression are more complex than that.
For one, they allow for certain restrictions depending upon the case, which a court could judge as abuse of that right- they stipulate that
responsibility goes with it.
But secondly, and more relevant to the examples cases you brought forth,
The laws allow more for criticism or opinion against ideologies, groups, religions, political parties, etc. but refer also to protection of
For example, Mr. Galliano printing an article stating his opinion about the Jews would have passed,
Insulting specific individuals on the street is different and transgresses the laws protecting individuals.
The editor of CharlieHepdo would be arrested if he went up to a Muslim person and made insults at them personally.
The french have a different sense than us americans about the necessity of flexibility in rules and laws- life is not all black and white and that is
why we need courts, and to look at each case individually. That might fail at times, just like our systems in the US, where technicalities can let a
guilty man walk the streets, or an innocent man hang.
Less clear, and more of my own opinion, I would suggest also that the french guilt about their past, and the Vichy regime, does color a little their
judgement. Just bring up the Vel D'Hiv with a french a person and watch the way they react. They don't like talking about that.
They also are currently under so much abuse by the muslim population the press allows a pressure release- because the arabs in France do not recognize
french laws, they insult them on the street everyday, and the police cannot do anything. (in most cases, they have orders not to- it might incite more
car burning and violence as we often have here).
So you have the french population getting very resentful and fed up with this. The more diffused expression of the press can help calm some of that
The jews in the population pretty much adhere to the laws and are respectful of other citizens, which might soften attitudes towards them.